The Effects of Attending Selective College Tiers in China

Journal Articles

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Social Science Research, Vol. 41, page(s): 287–305

March 2012

social science research

We estimate the effects of attending the first versus second-tier of higher education institutions on Chinese students’ at-college and expected post-college outcomes using various quasi-experimental methods such as regression discontinuity, genetic matching, and regression discontinuity controlling for covariates. Overall we find that just attending the first versus second-tier makes little difference in terms of students’ class ranking, net tuition, expected wages, or likelihood of applying for graduate school. The results do show, however, that just attending the first versus second tier makes it less likely that students will get their preferred major choice.

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